December - Relocating Blessings
We spoke to several hundred adults at a mission conference recently, and afterward my wife was approached by a lady who said, "The Lord wants you to have this." My wife looked up and saw the lady standing there with a gold bracelet in her hand. Obviously, my wife was very reluctant to take it, and the kind lady had to force it onto her wrist. As soon as my wife was wearing the bracelet the lady continued, "This was my mother-in-law's bracelet until she gave it to me. And she died two months ago. The Lord gives us things but He lets us know when its time for them to relocate. And its time for this bracelet to relocate."
This incident reminded me of how the Lord wants us to use the blessings He gives us. In the New Testament, Christians are called "A people for God's own possession." In the Greek, there are two words for possessions. The difference in meaning is whether or not the possession is something that can be transported. The above verse would be better translated as "You are a portable, moveable possession of God." Wow, we are meant to be on the move with God. In Genesis 12:1-4 we read, The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." What does it mean that God is going to bless Abraham? Well, if you read throughout Genesis and look for the word "bless" you will find that God refers to four things: land, a great name, offspring, and finances. Abraham is to use these blessings to "bless all the families of the earth."
I am reading through the prophets in the Bible, and what I see over and over again is Israel using the blessings on themselves and refusing to pass on the blessings to the nations. This is what I read yesterday in Isaiah 59:3-8 "For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things. No one calls for justice…Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways. The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths." All this from a nation that was blessed by God! But the nation loved the blessing so much that they wandered from the Blesser!
The more I travel, the more I am aware that the American college student is blessed in so many ways. A short practical list involves summers, the ability to speak English, a life ahead of them, access to the Bible in their language, and more. What if we hold these blessings as something not that we control but instead say, "God, here is all I have at the moment…I am willing to go anywhere, anytime, to do anything." Do not misunderstand the blessings of God and so default into your own agenda. God has blessed all of us in so many ways and I am challenged to hold the blessings of my life with an open hand and say… "Lord, when do You want them to relocate?"
As we enter the Advent Season, we should be reminded of Christ's coming to earth as a baby, and further reminded that He will come again. At His first coming, He brought blessing upon blessing to the world, and at His second coming, He will require of us an account of what we have done with those blessings. I pray that this Christmas season would be a time of waiting expectantly for our coming King, and reflecting on how we have used the Kingdom's resources and how we will use them in the future.
God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear Him. Psalm 67:7.